Did it seem brighter than usual last night where you were? What a great way to start 2018 as the first full moon of 2018, the “Luna del Lobo” (Wolf Moon) or Supermoon illuminated the skies over Costa Rica Monday night.

Supermoons aren’t really larger and brighter than other moons, but they appear so because they’re closer to the Earth in their orbit, as NASA explains it, “because the moon’s orbit is elliptical, one side (apogee) is about 30,000 miles farther from Earth than the other (perigee). Nearby perigee full Moons appear about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than full moons that occur near apogee in the moon’s orbit.”

Astronomy in Palo Verde 2018. The Fundación para el Centro Nacional de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (Cientec) will hold a practical course during the 2 nights of observation in the Palo Verde National Park, at the mouth of the Tempisque River, Guanacaste. More info here.

“It’s hard for our eyes to distinguish these small changes in size when the moon is high amidst the vastness of the night sky,” NASA said on its website. “But any time you catch a full Moon as it rises or sets, while it’s suspended low on the horizon beaming through the silhouettes of trees or buildings, its apparent size might make you do a double-take.

The first Supermoon of January is also called the Wolf Moon. The next, called a “blue moon” is at the end of the month, as January gets two Supermoons, an occurrence that only happens every two or three years.

The January 31 Supermoon won’t appear as big and bright as the one on New Year’s Day.

Though we could not find any photos of the Wolf Moon over Costa Rica, we bring you photos from around the globe. Photos from earthsky.org.

Supermoon from Rome, Italy via Gianluca Masi at the Virtual Telescope Project, which hosted an online viewing of the event.
Heidi Gabbert in San Jose, California wrote: “New Year supermoon – January 1, 2018 – giving us a glimpse through the cloudy sky.
Neeti Kumthekar in Belmar, New Jersey caught the supermoon rising with a mirage effect. The rising or setting moon or sun can exhibit a mirage when there are air layers of different temperatures near your horizon, for example, over an ocean.
Supermoon rising from Héctor Barrios in Hermosillo, Mexico.
January 1, 2018 full supermoon over Seattle, Washington from Gary Peltz.
First full moon of 2018 – and closest supermoon – at 99.9% illumination as captured from Karachi, Pakistan by Talha Zia.
“First full moon of 2018 and a super one to boot,” wrote Lou Musacchio in Montreal.